If Obama is President, it’s a fair guess that there’s a new plan to give your taxmoney to shareholders in banks
Calculated Risk: WSJ: Leaked Details on Public-Private Entities Buying Bad Bank Assets
By offering low interest non-recourse loans, these public-private entities can pay a higher than market price for the toxic assets since there is no downside risk. This amounts to a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to the banks. It is amazing how many different ways they’ve tried to recycle the same bad idea.
Now, I don’t think this is because of campaign loyalty to bankers (though I am sure they gave far more to Obama’s campaign than you and your friends did). And it is not because Obama is setting up an administration of hacks and toadies (though he is, why else do you think a political nothing like Kathleen Sebelius was chosen as HHS chief over Governor / Chairman / Dr. Dean?).
It is because Obama does not know what he is doing.
As I said wrote in June 2008…
An Obama Presidency offers a reasonable hope in the Establishment: a vote for Obama is a vote for the status-quo. As the status-quo is one of the best in world history, thatâ€™s a solid argument.
As it relates to Obama, many commentators are now raising the hope that Obama will be bureaucratically captured in the same way that Petreaues and Gates were. Even better for us, Obama will have little operational control over what actually happens.
When America elected Barack Obama, it said by a majority vote, “We like the powers that be as they are!” Given this, it’s natural that Barack Obama should divert funds from the treasury to banks. In the Age of Obama, this Age of the Establishment, the simple fact that banks made catastrophically bad decisions is no reason they should lose money, power, and influence.
Kos and others have been lamenting the lack of direction and focus in the Democratic Party. Dean ran a successful DNC head campaign at least partially on this principle, stating that at times the party had been captured by their left wing and prevented from being centrist enough to win over moderate voters.
There are also dissenters who say that the oldest Party lacks a message and simply stands for contrarianism today. Daschle was blasted for being obstructionist and it seems like President Bush can’t get a word in edge-wise without threat of filibuster or harassment. But one must wonder, and I do, if this is not simply multiple ploys by the Majority Republicans to villainize the Minority Democrats even further.
It seems to me that if the President were interested in bipartisan progress, as he claimed post-election, he would be nominating U.N. Ambassadors with clean slates and exemplary service records, not chicanery and cover-ups. John Bolton might be a hardliner and might be what the U.N. needs, but there wasn’t a no-nonsense diplomat somewhere in the stack that both parties could agree on? Additionally, the nomination of judges who lean a bit too far right for people’s tastes, even one Republican (Lincoln Chafee), seems to be a direct challenge to the Democrats. Does Mr. Bush really believe in Priscilla Owen, et al, or is he just pushing our buttons and keeping us from doing anything meaningful while the far-left and middle-left bicker amongst themselves?
Which brings me to the point of party loyalty. In the Republican Party, stepping outside party lines is risky business. On the other side of the fence, where we still believe in democracy (apologies, Dan) that’s not out of the ordinary, it’s the norm. Democrats regularly vote for Republican ideas if the ideas are sane. I wonder what blowback Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Mike Castle will face for trying to move toward scientific progress in the stem cell debate.
As a loyal and fierce Democrat, not a Bush contrarian, I must agree that our Party is lacking direction and cohesion, but I am afraid to take the steps that brought the Republican Party from nowhere to everywhere post-Nixon. At this point, I don’t know where the answer is, but I’m not sure that Dean has it. He claims that he isn’t too far left to take the party somewhere and grow it, but his track record isn’t great on that front. Even before the famous scream, leftist voters were leaning toward Kerry. I don’t want to toe a Party Line, but it feels like our hands might be tied until we gain some ground. Is it OK to declare martial law and put up a dictator for the Party if it takes us from rabble-rousing to revolution? And once we’re there, can we keep him leashed? I’m sure there are old-style Republicans (fiscal responsiblity, small government, state’s rights, privacy) out there that are regretting their decision to back Bush no questions asked. I met some in Texas. I’m sure there are Republican politicians who cringe at Frist and DeLay taking advantage of the religious right in the Schiavo case… But they’re being mostly silent.
If we want to get somewhere as a party, do we abandon democracy as well?
Conservatives trump liberals in financial connectivity to their party
Democratic National Committee (DNC) fund raising under the chairmanship of Howard Dean shows a disappointing $16.7 million raised in the first quarter of 2005, compared with $34 million reported by the Republicans.
That tends to confirm dire predictions by old-line Democratic fund-raisers of a fall-off in money if Dean became chairman. He had promised to bring in heavy individual contributions, as he did in his 2004 campaign for president. But the DNC in the first quarter received only $13 million from individuals, compared to $31 million for the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Conservative trump liberals in rhetorical connectivity to each other. To quote Garrison Keillor
The reason you find an army of right-wingers ratcheting on the radio and so few liberals is simple: Republicans are in need of affirmation, they don’t feel comfortable in America and they crave listening to people who think like them. Liberals actually enjoy living in a free society; tuning in to hear an echo is not our idea of a good time.
In other words, they constantly affirm the message.
Now, remembering also conservatives have a 3:2 advantage over liberals, which ideological network is stronger
From the left?
Or the right?
“GOP uses Dean’s Nashville visit to tweak Bredesen,” by Bonna de la Cruz, Tennessean, 22 March 2005, http://www.tennessean.com/government/archives/05/03/67252324.shtml?Element_ID=67252324 (from Doug Petch).
Republicans in Al Gore’s homestate of Tennessee are trying to tie their
Tory Democrat governor to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean
Democratic Party chairman to speak at Vanderbilt today
Tennessee Republicans are using a two-day Nashville visit by Howard Dean as a backdrop to link Gov. Phil Bredesen with a liberal agenda.
The GOP is airing a radio commercial today and tomorrow that describes the Democratic governor as ”peas in a pod” with Dean, national chairman of the Democratic Party, who is pegged as a ”Northeastern liberal.”
Of course, Governor Bredesen stands up for his boss
The governor has no problem with Howard Dean coming to Tennessee,” Bredesen spokeswoman Lydia Lenker said. ”He has a sincere desire to reach out to Southern voters.” She declined to respond to the radio ad.
Oh, wait, no he doesn’t
Dean and Bredesen will not meet, citing scheduling conflicts. They have met twice in the last several weeks at other meetings, both said.
”I wonder why Phil Bredesen won’t meet with Howard Dean?” said Bob Davis of Nashville, who is chairman of the state Republican Party.
”I’m guessing that even Bredesen wants to distance himself from Dean’s liberal agenda.”
No public meeting with the very public head of the national party. Sounds like the Democrat Party has a winner!
“Wife Will Not Join DNC CHairman Howard Dean in Washington,” Drudge Report, http://www.drudgereport.com/flash3hd.htm, 13 February 2005.
Trouble for DNC Chairman Howard Dean
Howard Dean won the chairmanship of the national Democratic Party over the weekend and quickly began looking for a home in Washington.
“This is really goodbye to Vermont, for now. There’s lots of work to do,” Dean told supporters.
Eyebrows were raised after it was revealed that Dean’s wife, Judy, will not be joining her husband in his move.
“She has a career as a doctor, her patients require her attention,” said one Dean friend.
The Deans will join the growing ranks of “commuter marriages,” with both partners living in different locations.
Trouble for Senator Kerry
A campaign convenience is no more.
According to The Washington Times, Teresa Heinz, the erstwhile Teresa Heinz Kerry, has stopped using the last name of her husband, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, last year’s Democrat presidential nominee.
Preceding its Women Who Make a Difference Awards dinner next month, the National Council for Research on Women is featuring “a conversation with Teresa Heinz,” according to a release from the organization. The council failed to mention the final half of the Fox Chapel ketchup heiress’ formerly elongated last name in several other references.
Update: Riding Sun adds:
You might see Teresa’s decision as a real slap in the face to John, but I’ll bet he’s not taking it too hard. You see, there’s plenty of nuance involved here. After all, she did change her name to Kerry, before she changed it back.
More brilliance from the new American Tory Party:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Tim Roemer, the only remaining opponent of Howard Dean in the race to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Monday he’s bowing out of the race – but he offered a warning to Democrats.
Dean, the former presidential candidate and governor of Vermont, is expected to win the DNC chairmanship at the election Feb. 12.
Roemer, a former congressman from Indiana and a member of the Sept. 11 commission, said Democrats must be more inclusive in their outreach to fast-growing parts of the country.
“I got into this race five weeks ago to talk about the devastating loss we experienced in November,” Roemer said in an interview. “It was not about 60,000 votes in Ohio. It was about losing 97 of the 100 fastest growing counties in the country. If that’s a trend in business or politics you’re in trouble.”
Republicans are in the strongest position they’ve been in since the early 20th century, Roemer said.
Roemer, who said top Democrats in Congress encouraged him to enter the chairman’s race, said he wants to strengthen Democrats’ position on national security.
“If there’s one reason Senator Kerry lost the presidential race, it was because he failed to make the American people feel safer,” Roemer said, adding that he also wanted to encourage talk within the party about developing a stronger position on values.
Roemer said he hoped to make the party more inclusive, especially on the issue of abortion. He opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the health of the mother.
Roemer would have been the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party since Bill Clinton. Instead, the opposition will further disintegrate into noncompetitive meaninglessness. KJL sums it up best
Such a ridiculous diaster–for Democrats and American politics.
“A Suicidal Selection: With Dean as party chairman, the Democrats wouldn’t need enemies,” by Jonath Chait, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chait4feb04,0,4714338.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions, 4 February 2005.
“Hewitt versus Beinart,” by “Steve in Sacto,” MyDD, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/2/3/142723/3608, 4 February 2005.
The Democratic Party decides to commit suicide. After all, there’s nothing wrong with a confederation of regional parties. Unless you want to govern. Torification continues:
The article sums up Dean’s failures
The conventional rap against Dean as DNC chairman is essentially the same as the conventional rap against him as presidential candidate a year ago. Namely, he reinforces all the party’s weaknesses. Democrats need to appeal to culturally traditional voters in the Midwest and border states who worry about the party’s commitment to national security. Dean, with his intense secularism, arrogant style, throngs of high-profile counterculture supporters and association with the peace movement, is the precise opposite of the image Democrats want to send out.
And the coup that is sweeping him into office
So, how did Dean manage to trounce all comers for this position? Dean’s supporters see his triumph as the victory of the masses over a tiny Democratic elite desperately trying to cling to power. As one left-liberal blogger gloated: “The fact that Howard Dean will most likely be heading up the Democratic Party is our victory. It is the voice of the grass roots lifted up into the halls of power once owned by the ‘aristocracy of consultants.’ ” That actually has it backward. A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that only 27% of Democrats approve of Dean.
In the latest issue of the New Republic, Ryan Lizza described how Dean had prevailed in a process of third-rate intrigue. The choosing of the DNC chairman has been dominated by state parties, whose concerns revolve around expanding perks, including a demand for a $200,000 handout for each state party from the national party. Nobody seemed to pay much attention to the good of the party as a whole. Meanwhile, Dean touched those leaders’ ideological erogenous zones, promising to “feed our core constituencies” and not be “Republican-lite.”
As the last election showed, the core constituencies are plenty well fed. There just aren’t enough of them to win the White House.
Relatedly, MyDD unloads on the editor of “Bush-lite” The New Republic.
I was going to post yet another Bienart takedown/outrage, him cavorting with the extended Republican Noise Machine, blah, blah… But instead I’m posting this just for the sheer hilarity of it as written. You just can’t make up stuff like this…
America needs two sane parties. Not a GOP behemoth and an American Tory Party.